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November 16 2022



Councilmember Charles Barron Challenges Unequal Distribution of Shelters

Systemic oversaturation is not, of course, limited to drug treatment programs.  Waste and DSNY facilities, single-adult shelters, bus depots, and other public facilities that impact the health, public safety, and quality of life of residents, are routinely packed into communities of color.  

The asylum seeker crisis has spurred Council Member Charles Barron asking why New York City repeatedly fails to adhere to Fair Share guidelines.

Brooklyn City Councilmember Charles Barron

The Amsterdam News quotes Brooklyn City Councilmember Charles Barron as noting that:

“When you say we have a state of emergency because asylum seekers are being bussed in, well, two things—one, we’ve been [in] a state of emergency, with homelessness in our communities with the people who are already here,” said Barron. “So this is not a new state of emergency. It’s been a state of emergency.

“Secondly, that the fair-share act of 1990, or the fair-share rule in the city charter of 1990s said that the shelter distributions have to be equitably, fairly distributed amongst all communities that can’t be oversaturated in one, or communities that are Black and brown and low income, that’s the class and race.”

He pointed out a majority of the nine districts without a single shelter bed are predominantly white and Asian communities with higher levels of income. Over 90% of Community District 5 is Black or brown and 28.9% of residents earn under the NYCGov poverty threshold.

Please take a moment to ask Harlem's council members where they stand on Fair Share and what they are doing to address the systemic oversaturation of communities of color.


Windows 117

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The Greater Harlem Coalition is excited to welcome Windows 117 to our coalition.  

Windows 117 is located on West 123rd Street, has 32 units, and was built in 2008.


    GHC Meets With Residents of Lakeview Apartments and Presents on The Persistent Shadow of Redlining


    GHC Co-Founder Shawn Hill met with the Lakeview Apartments Tenants Association and presented data on the correlation between 21st Century drug treatment programs and historically redlined neighborhoods.

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    The presentation examined the history of redlining, the maps themselves, and how this racist legacy continues to impact today's Harlem.  


    A synthesis of two Manhattan redlining maps (below) shows the conclusions of the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) assessors when judging our community and its fitness for loans in the 1938.

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    The racial factors that guided HOLC's process are perhaps best seen in this passage from HOLC's 1936 manual (Part II, Paragraph 233) which was used to guide the redlining assessors: 

    "The Valuator should investigate areas surrounding the location to determine whether or not incompatible racial and social groups are present, to the end that an intelligent prediction may be made regarding the possibility or probability of the location being invaded by such groups. If a neighborhood is to retain stability it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes. A change in social and racial occupancy generally leads to instability and a reduction in values."

    Overlaying 2022 opioid treatment programs with redlined New York City shows an almost perfect correspondence:

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    96% of all opioid treatment programs are sited in communities that were redlined in 1938

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    Study Finds Black, Hispanic Patients Get Shorter Treatment for Opioid Addiction


    A new study found white patients receive care for an opioid use disorder longer than Black and Hispanic patients:

    Researchers at Harvard Medical School randomly sampled a database looking at prescriptions for buprenorphine – a drug that treats narcotic dependence – from 2006 to 2020. In 2020, they found white patients received treatment for a median of 53 days while Black and Hispanic patients received it for 44 and 35 days, respectively, according to the study published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.


    Unlike methadone, which is more powerful, buprenorphine doesn’t require patients to visit a clinic every day for treatment because it carries a lower risk of misuse.  Health experts recommend patients take the drug for at least 180 days. The study, however, showed only about a quarter of patients made it that long while there is a significant amount of medical literature showing that duration of treatment leads to better outcomes.”


    At the end of the day, "Treatment is “not just about the medication,” said Dr. Denis Antoine, director of the addiction treatment services clinic at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center


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